Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection Plogging Challenge

2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Montgomery County, Md., MD

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About the Program

Category: County Resiliency (Best in Category)

Year: 2022

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (MCDEP) Plogging Challenge encourages volunteers to pick up trash anytime and report their litter pick-up activity. MCDEP provides free litter removal equipment to volunteers, and in exchange, volunteers report their litter pick-up activities to MCDEP on their own time. This program was a specific response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the success of the program has allowed MCDEP to commit to continuing it indefinitely. Short program development time and relatively low program costs show the plogging program is effective. Just over $17,000.00 was spent on supplies and services in the first 8 months of the program. Volunteers learn about litter issues, join a larger group working to better our community, and contribute to litter reduction in our waters. Montgomery County uses the data provided by volunteers to meet reporting requirements and show the success of the cleanup program. Close to 600 volunteers joined the Plogging Challenge and pledged to make a difference. The program resulted in 12,000 pounds of litter removal in Montgomery County in 2021!

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